ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Former state Rep. Dan Severson on Monday became the first Minnesota Republican to announce a challenge to Democratic Sen. Amy Klobuchar in next year’s election.

The race is off to a much slower start than past Senate contests in a state with a competitive history. Klobuchar, who bucked that trend in her first race, is regarded as the favorite, even by people within the GOP.

Severson, a 56-year-old retired Navy pilot, acknowledged it won’t be easy as he set his campaign in motion on the state Capitol steps, where he was surrounded by supporters.

“It’s going to be a long, hard road. There’s giants in the land, but they will come down,” Severson said. He didn’t mention Klobuchar’s name once during the 12-minute event.

Klobuchar won her seat in a 2006 blowout, and she’s maintained strong public approval ratings throughout her term. With more than $2.5 million in campaign cash as of mid-April, Klobuchar is trying to become Minnesota’s first incumbent senator to win re-election since 1996.

In a brief statement, Klobuchar campaign spokesman Justin Buoen didn’t comment directly on Severson’s candidacy. Buoen said Klobuchar is focused on her work and not the campaign.

“The election is a year and a half away,” he said.

Severson was the GOP’s nominee for secretary of state last year, attracting 928,000 votes, the second most for a Republican on the 2010 ticket but well short of incumbent Democrat Mark Ritchie. Severson represented a St. Cloud-area district for four terms while in the Legislature.

A handful of his former colleagues were on hand for the announcement, but his backdrop also included representatives from Somali and Hmong immigrant communities that the GOP has tried to court.

In January, Severson helped form the Minnesota Organization of Republican Veterans, which has a mission of recruiting and electing military veterans. Issues that Severson has supported include legislation that would require voters to show a government-issued photo identification card before getting a ballot.

In his remarks and questions after announcing the run, Severson blamed the White House and the Senate, both led by Democrats, for not doing enough to address rising gas prices, high unemployment rates and growing federal debt.

“This next election is pivotal to America’s future,” he said. “It’s about stopping the soft shackles of socialism and returning the government to the people.”

He said his plan would be to cut federal expenditures, cap the debt limit and balance the budget. He didn’t say how he would do that, but promised to outline his plan during the campaign.

Other Republicans have said they are considering Senate campaigns but aren’t ready to move ahead.

R. Chris Barden, the Republican nominee for attorney general, said last month he was weighing a run. Bill Guidera, a News Corp. executive and officer for the state Republican Party, needs to make sure he’d be able to raise enough money before entering the race, said his adviser, Noah Rouen.

Last week, freshman state Sen. Dave Thompson of Lakeville said he would wait until after the legislative session ends to decide.

“Frankly, this was brought to me. I never talked about this and haven’t really until this point, until I started to get questions,” Thompson said. “I’ll just have to see what happens after we get our business taken care of here.”

Barring a special session, lawmakers are due to adjourn next Monday.

Severson said he will abide by the party endorsement process, swearing off a primary if state convention delegates back another candidate next spring.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Comments (76)
  1. Jack says:

    Time to clean house. Amy must go.

    1. MNTP says:

      She stands with cosmpolitan East Coast bankers and intellectuals and against Minnesotans. Klobuchar supports legislation that hands US sovereignity to the Uniited Nations.

      1. Tom says:


        I think you are confusing Amy with Bachmann!

        1. MNTP says:

          No, Tom, you need to read more carefully. Michelle Bachmann is a great American who works tirelessly to protect our way of life. Amy Klobuchar is a tool of liberal, East Coast elitists who exploit hard-working Americans for their own selfish and depraved purposes.

          1. MARK says:

            GOP = class warfare. Is that the best you can do? Minnesotans aren’t scared of the “East Coast elite” bogeyman, much to the chagrin of Republicans. Try again.

          2. Tom says:


            Are you from Bachmanns district?

            1. MNTP says:

              No, I am a Minnesotan from outside Michelle Bachmann’s district. But her efforts benefit all decent, Christian Minnesotans and she deserves our support. And, yes, MNTP stands for the Minnesota Tea Party, the last great hope for White Christian Minnesotans!

              1. MARK says:

                It’s actually refreshing to see a tea partier admit that they believe they’re the last “great hope for White Christian Minnesotans.” All we hear from them is that they’re against taxes and large government, but now we see at least one member willing to admit that they’re really about supporting “White Christian Minnesotans” and not ALL Minnesotans. I sincerely hope that all non-white, non-Christian, and non-bigoted Minnesotans get this message loud and clear.

                1. snowman says:

                  Mark, good point

              2. Tom says:


                I thought so! That does explain alot!

          3. Tom says:


            Are you from Bachmanns 6th district? And I would venture too guess that MNTP stands for MN Tea Party?

            1. Flower child says:

              @Tom. I think MNTP stands for Minnesota toilet paper.

              1. really? says:

                Are you ever coming back from Woodstock big spender?

          4. we got dumb and then we got MNTP dumber yet says:

            L M F A O
            MNTP, I think you need to go find Dorothy and the puppeters and head to the Land of Oz to search for a brain. Seriously — maybe get a spare one too as you get Bachmannitis “mind pollution set in” way to easily.

          5. James says:

            “Our way of life” and not anybody elses way of life. Again, Nannies in the Govt who have decided that “Self Reliance” is not a good concept.

          6. eastside_evil says:

            “Michelle Bachmann is a great American who works tirelessly to protect our way of life.”

            That was HILARIOUS. I bet you’ve never once met Michele Bachmann or spoken to her. Come on. Be honest. Am I right? I bet you don’t and haven’t ever even lived in Stillwater.

        2. peggy says:

          nope down with amy klobacher and al freaken franken

          1. Tom says:


            Was had Franken done that is so bad? Or are you totally againest people like Klobacher and Franken because when they talk it actually makes sense? Or do you prefer candidates that speaks jibberish!

            I will put it to this way who do you like?

  2. Tom says:


    Basically what your are saying it doesn’t matter if Amy is doing good or not she must go?

    1. Jack says:

      She has voted lock-step with the Obama Administration. We are at 9% unemploymnet, gas food through the roof, debt projections in trillions, failed stimulus program, what more do you want. Good job, are you living on a differant planet. We and congress were told by Obama that if we give him a trillion for the stimulus program unemploymnet won’t go above 8% and the recession would be over. Congress gave him everything he wanted for 3 years. He has failed, Amy has failed, and its time for a change. And don’t give me that Bush did this bs, its been three years and trillions of dollars.

      1. Tom says:


        So basically you are accusing of Amy of doing the samething Bachmann did with Bush. I have seen Amy asking Obamafor an autograph like Bachmann did with Bush at the State of the Union address, and if I remember right Bachmann gave Bush sloppy wet one on the lips. And you need ask yourself something Jack if Obama didn’t do anything where would we be right now? And yes Bush started this mess and if you don’t want too see reality that is your problem not mine.

        1. peggy says:

          you are blind sir obama is doing exactly what bush did only it went from 9 trillion to 15 trillion in his short time in office and by the way are you a credit card user well honey your part of that problem to just like the rest of us and as fornot doing anything would have been better than a takeover of our lives and we would have been coming out of this so cALLED MESS WE ALL CREATED ALREADYand he used bushes tactics to get usama. NO MORE DRAMA FROM OBAMA

          1. Tom says:


            I have pretty good sight actually! I am disputing that Obama added too deficit, but there many conservative who want you to believe that Obama the way they talk is that the current the deficit is Obamas fault and they make it sound like Bush handed Obama a surplus. Now as far as the spending goes yes Obama has added to it. But let me ask you this if Obama hadn’t tried anything and did what the GOP and the Tea Party wanted to do which was nothing and let things heel on there own where do you think we would be today? Would things right now be better or worse if McCain and Palin were elected?

      2. Jack has no Facts says:

        Wow. Unemployment was on the steep rise we saw uner the Bush Administration. Gas was high priced during the later half of the Bush administration as well. It went down during Obama’s administration because of the poor economy that Obama inheristed from Bush. The debt went up substantially under Bush and was inherited by Obama unless of course you eclude the cost of two wars from the books as Bush did. I live on this planet and those are the facts Jack. The Stimulas money was also initiated under Bush. It was time for a change and that is how Obama came to office. Since he came into office he was blammed for the mess Bush got us into and it wasn’t 6 months after he was in office that we heard from the Republicans that he has faild. I don’t know what facts you get beamed up to your spaceship Jack, they certainly are not the facts we have here. It sounds like your facts you have are the same old smear that the Repulicans too often spit out. What is the House doing today about these issues? They are too usy doing anything but dealing with those issues you complain about and then you like them blame Obama and the likes of Amy and say they are a failure. I think America has woken up and have seen that the Republicans too often spit out misinformation and say it is fact insulting the inteligence of us all – Amy will win hands down and you can sit and stew and still believe man did not walk on the moon.

        1. Jack says:

          The stimulas was not started under bush, TARP was. The stimulas was Obamas brainchild. It was nearly a trillion dollars and did nothing. Gas prices were not as high under Bush, check it. The demacratics ran both the house and senate the last two years of Bush so they were spending the money not the Republicans. The housing crisis was started with demacratic control over frannie and freddie controled by Chris Dodd (senator dem), and Barney Frank (dem rep). They wanted to provide housing to people even if they couldn’;t afford it. You are really full of dem propaganda, please try and read adult news in the future.

          1. Tom says:


            Yes gas prices were around $4.00 a gallon before the 2008 election. It was also Bush and the GOP who decided that Big Oil needed a tax break. And it is fact that Bush and the GOP went on spending spree between 2000 – 2006 when they put two wars, two tax cuts, medicare part D, and other things on the credit card.

      3. savvyspy says:

        Lets break it down. My over/under on false statement is 4. I’m taking the over.

        1. “failed stimulus program” = FALSE (The bi-partisan fiscal stimulus program created over 2 million jobs in 2010-2011 to date according to CBO projections)

        2. “Told by Obama that unemployment wouldn’t go over 8%” = FALSE (When the stimulus package passed the unemployment rate was 8.9%)

        3. “Congress gave him everything for 3 years” = FALSE (Obama has been president for under 2 1/2 years)

        4. “Trillion dollars for stimulus” = FALSE (The 2009 Stimulus package cost $809 billion)

        5. “We are at 9% unemployment” = FALSE (The unemployment rate is 8.6% and decreasing and is down from a high of 10.6% in December 2009)

        Ding Ding Ding!!

        It too easy debunking Tea Party failed ideology.

        1. Jim says:

          savvyspy, I think this is the best post I’ve ever read on Facts are like poison to the Tea Party.

        2. Jack says:

          You are so wrong. Obama in his request for the stimulas package said if he did not get it unemployment would rise to 8%, research it. The stimulas pack ended up in excess of 840 billion. We are at 9% unemploymnet as of last week. You can spin the part time jobs from the stimulas anyway you want but it is considered a total failure by most and you only need to be living to know it did not work. the only ding ding here is you.

          1. Tom says:


            And if McCain and Palin were in charge where would things be?

  3. MARK says:

    Typical GOP. Put up a loser like Severson, who can’t win the secretary of state job, for an even higher position. I guess though when you look at a party whose leading presidential candidate is Donald Trump, you realize that they’re grasping at straws.

    1. Dave says:

      Well, the Dems put up a Presidential candidate last time who had never been in charge of ANYTHING in his entire life (not even a school board chair), and although it hasn’t worked out very well for the country, he did win!

      If you think Trump will win the GOP nomination, you’re delusional.

      1. MARK says:

        Of course I don’t think Trump will win the nomination. I don’t think Trump is actually a Republican at all and is more interested in his TV show’s ratings than anything, and I’m certain that if he thought he had a real shot at winning he would drop out as quickly as possible. That doesn’t mean the typical GOPer isn’t dumb enough to fall for him. Rasmussen, which according to my friends at Fox News is the most accurate pollster, has Trump leading the way at +2. But don’t take my word for it:

      2. savvyspy says:

        Never in charge of anything?? He was a sitting US Senator!

        A tad bigger post than school board chair and EXACTLY the same job the GOP candidate had.

        Wow. The cluelessness is strong in this one.

        1. Dave says:

          Exactly what is a Senator in charge of? Nothing.

          McCain was at least a Naval officer and chaired various Senate committees over his career, though I agree that his executive experience was not ideal by any means.

          Although I haven’t checked in great detail, I am pretty sure that Obama had never even been in charge of anything even remotely as important as…say…mayor of Wasilla. (And no, I am not a Palin fan)

          I am conservative in general, but I tend to agree that the conservative movement politically has been going off the tracks lately. It scares me that people are taking the likes of Bachmann, Trump, Gingrich, etc. seriously as Presidential candidates. They are all demagogues.

          1. Jim says:

            “Exactly what is a Senator in charge of? Nothing.”

            The problem with that is Obama HAD no experience. But in 2012, he’s going to have 4 more years of presidential experience than any other candidate. So you have a good point…in 2008.

            1. Dave says:

              Well, my point wasn’t about the 2012 presidential election, so whatever…

              1. Jim says:

                Oh, you had a point? Your comments about Donald Trump running for president in 2012 were not about the 2012 presidential election? Interesting.

  4. soapboxgod says:

    Lest it be forgotten, Bachmann voted AGAINST Bush’s failed TARP.

    Now if she could just get her head on straight with regards to voting to extend otherwise expiring provisions of the unconstitutional Patriot Act……

    1. savvyspy says:

      How did TARP fail exactly??

      Right now TARP is 46% paid back at an average of 21% interest. That’s 3 TIMES what the stock market returned in the same time period.

      Unless some major banks fail the US is guaranteed to make money on TARP in the next 4 years.

      I’m no Bush fan but TARP is the best investment this country has made in years.

      I’m not saying I support “Too Big To Fail” but once the investment was made its been a no brainer success.

      1. soapboxgod says:

        Paid back with devalued dollars! Try an economics course (one not so heavy on the Keynes).

  5. kevin says:

    I live in Michelle’s district so I do not vote for or against Amy. But I am A PRO gun AND SECOND ADMENDMENT avocate. And any one agreeing with Hillary, Holder and the others who advocate that the USELESS UNITED NATIONS dictate how US citizens can arm themselves and own firearms- these people need to go as they are nothing but socialist and communists trying to distroy our country.

    1. MNTP says:

      That’s right, Kevin. Obama and Hillary will use ATF-led UN troops to disarm White Christians and imprison them in FEMA concentration camps. Klobuchar supports the White House and must go. Severson stands for US sovereignity and will protect the Freedom and Liberty of Real Americans from the socialist plot

      1. Tom says:


        That stuff about ATF – led UN troops to disarm White Christians and imprison them in FEMA concentration camps sounds alot like that non-sense that Glen Beck mentioned months ago. But too tell you the truth they don’t need too make FEMA camps when we already have existing facilities called Bellevue.

      2. Tom says:


        Those ATF – led UN troops to disarm White Christians and imprison them in FEMA concentration camps sounds like that non-sense that Glen Beck mentioned months ago. But to tell you the truth we don’t FEMA too build any type of camps because we have existing facilities called Bellevue.

    2. Tom says:


      Where are you reading that the UN wants too take away your gun? Since taking office how many times have you heard Obama, Hillary, and Holder mention taking away your guns?

      1. MNTP says:

        Of course they didn’t tell us, Tom. They know that they can make the process move more smoothly and with fewer armed confrontations if the populace doesn’t know what’s coming. There will be no warning. One morning, the helicopers will approach and there will be a knock at the door….

        1. Tom says:


          Ok it is time for your reality med!

    3. eastside_evil says:

      “who advocate that the USELESS UNITED NATIONS dictate how US citizens can arm themselves and own firearms”

      Uhhhhh WHAT?? Out of respect for yourself, you should request this comment be deleted. It’s completely inane and false.

  6. Alert U says:

    Wonder why Tea Drinking Partiers keep throwing out numbers to win elections, when it is increasingly clear, numbers really does not matter. They are driven by ideology. Driven to eliminate Liberal institutional concepts, it makes perfect sense to them to spend 1cent of every tax dollar for NPR and Planned Parenthood, but 60 cents on the military. America will reap great profits they estimate, for quit spending that 1 cent.

    1. MNTP says:

      One penny for liberal NPR and abortuaries is too much!!! Christian Americans should not be forced to support these atheist socialist instituions.

      1. Dave says:

        The national debt is obscene in itself, but even more because we are wasting money on BOTH the left’s and the right’s pet projects. We waste money funding abortion, and we waste money fighting useless wars. The money wasted by the wars is a lot more, but the abortion funding kills more people.

        1. Tom says:


          The Hyde Amendment prevents any tax payer money from being used for abortions.

      2. Tom says:


        Then should we be forced to support the faith based program which Bush started up and yes continued by Obama?

        1. MNTP says:

          Tom, the Founding Fathers intended the Unitied States to be a White Christian country. It is only appropriate that you would support Christian programs if you are to be a good citizen. The fact that Obammy chose to go along with one in order to deceive us as to his real faith is irrelevant.

          1. MARK says:

            Oh, I see now that you have no idea what you’re talking about when it comes to US history. The Founding Fathers intended for the US to be a “White Christian” nation? What a joke. Your post is a disgrace to the Founders and this country. You should be ashamed.

            1. MNTP says:

              Founding Fathers = All White, all Christian (despite the lies the liberal college professors teach). Do you honestly think the Founding Fathers intended to have a Black Muslim be President? I don’t think so…

              1. MARK says:

                MNTP, now I’m starting to think you’re actually a liberal trying to make tea partiers look crazy. Did I fall for it?

                If your comments are genuine, you’re a racist and I have no interest in arguing with racist d-bags. I wish you the worst.

                1. MNTP says:

                  A foreign substance is introduced into our precious bodily fluids without the knowledge of the individual. Certainly without any choice.

                2. MARK says:

                  LOL. MNTP, do you realize that in addition to fluoridating water, why, there are studies underway to fluoridate salt, flour, fruit juices, soup, sugar, milk… ice cream. Ice cream, MNTP, children’s ice cream.

              2. Tom says:


                Maybe you should do a google search I see how many of the founding fathers were christain and religious.

  7. KEVIN says:


    1. MARK says:

      If you know of people murdering babies you should call the police instead of posting on internet message boards.

  8. jeff says:

    here we go again, coat hangers in dark alleys. let’s make this place so aweful that all the puritans move out! it’s funny , everywhere they go their purist attitudes seem to breed hatred towards their own cause. hmmmmmmm!

  9. Wake up people says:

    Gawd and God …. some of you self professed puritans likely have not seen a church in 20 years, not helped out a soul in need in your life and abandoned your children to 24×7 daycare in the quest for fix of money.

    I’m changing by the day to the left side. Not many conserves worth my vote and they mainly hypocrtites from the top to the bottom

  10. kevin says:

    Jeff, have you ever herad of abstinence and adoption instead of coat hangers. also a coat hanger is old technology.

  11. Tom says:


    Abstinence does not work. And if people choose to put their baby up for adoption that is their choice. And if a woman wants too have an abortion that is her choice and is between her and her doctor and whom ever she chooses. But your proving how much of hyprocrit you and others like you are. You don’t want the govt to take your gun away but yet here you preaching about govt involvment on something that you want. If you want too own a gun for hunting purposes that is fine nothing wrong with that.

  12. James says:

    Here is a man who thinks that “Choice” is merely “his” choice. A Nanny in Govt who will work to ensure that you live the way he wants, and, punish you if you don’t . A stumbling block to Self Reliance at best. Just another wolf in sheep’s clothing, bent on bullying me into submission.

  13. vern says:

    Dan’s a good, honest, competent man.
    I’d be honored to have him represent me and Minnesota.

  14. Ripper says:

    Yes, a uh, a profound sense of fatigue… a feeling of emptiness followed. Luckily I… I was able to interpret these feelings correctly. Loss of essence.

  15. Pavel says:

    Let me get this right: MNTP stands for Minnesota Toilet Paper?? It fits with the BS you want to spread around!

  16. dphilips says:

    The tea partiers need to lose the tin foil hats, and have their houses
    tested for lead

  17. jeff says:

    isn’t the theory that republicans go by to maximize ones choices? if that is true then why all the social control? ohhhhhhhh they mean maximize choices when it comes to money only!!!!!! ahhhh i get it. if you think for one second a girl who would rather die than have a baby won’t find a way to kill it, you’re mistaken. the coat hanger thing isn’t some urban legend.

  18. jeff says:

    by the way in the beginning of abortions it wasn’t people that just went, had sex and said, “oops”. it was people that were so ashamed to have a baby because of perceived religious persecution from family and friends that they’d rather loose the baby and carry on with their lives. so all of your social conservatism fails miserably in the end and will always set the stage for disaster. that is why abstinence doesn’t work. christians and many other religions have always tried to control instincts, especially sex…..and it has always met with failure 100% of the time!

  19. tim utz, minnesota says:


    What happened to your GOP commitment to reach the inner city conservative minority? You are the head of that new department, How can you run a full time campaign and do justice to the appointment Tony Sutton and Michael Brodkorb appointed you to just 2 months ago?

  20. Jake G says:

    I would just like to say that A. I am a conservative, and B. MNTP needs to get a freaking grip. The Founders were not all Christian: A true conservative does NOT stand for white, rich, Christians only, they stand for everybody. You give the TEA Party a bad name, please go back to whatever racist hole you crawled out of. We have no need of nuts like you.

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